Safe Kids, Safe Home

smackdown_babyproofing-e1295882319758One area you should never cut corners or skimp in the name of saving a dollar is your child’s safety. That said, there are ways in which you can make your home a safer place for your baby or young child that are safe, effective and budget-friendly as well.

Get on the Floor

To protect your child from the dangers lurking behind their curiosity, you have to see the world as they do. Get down on the floor and survey your surroundings from their point of view.

What do you see? Are there any cords or loose objects hanging from above? What is climbable? What is within reach, and will it potentially cause harm?

Start by doing a ground sweep and doing inventory of potential hazards.

Aim High

Height is your friend when it comes to creating a safe environment for your child. Remove anything and everything that may pose a problem to higher ground, including items that are stored within cupboards and closets. Remember things like household cleaners, flammable items and pet food.

Yet another Use for Duct Tape

One of the major household hazards are electrical outlets, most of which tend to be located within easy access by little hands.  Plugs and switch plate covers are available for purchase, but good, old-fashioned duct tape (or masking tape) does the trick as well.

Make sure that corners are sealed and snug. Check often to make sure that barrier is intact.

Corner the Market

Sharp corners near head level can be very dangerous around weebly-wobbly toddlers. One way to reduce this hazard is to move at least a portion of the furniture against the wall, cutting off access.  For corners that remain exposed, place tennis balls punctured with a small hole to hug the corner in question.

Create a Safe Play Area

One way to have a safe area is to segregate a single area in your home for play only. If space permits, remove everything but the child’s toys and childproofed equipment, and block it off.

Lots of hazards emerge when you have a mixed-use space (i.e. a living room with a play area in one corner etc.)

Get Rid of the Wildlife

Plants, while a nice decorative touch in any home, should be removed altogether from a child’s reach. Place them on high shelves or in rooms that are inaccessible to little ones.

Shut Them Out

Little fingers love to open and close drawers and cupboards. However, in addition to the dangers of slamming those little fingers in the drawers and cupboard doors, there is the hazard of little ones accessing what lies inside.

Use elastic bands to link cupboards or drawers together, to prevent little hands from opening them.

Gated Community

Baby gates are a necessity when it comes to containing your busy child. Gates can be expensive though, and may not work with the configuration of the room. Moving furniture may serve a similar purpose, but make sure you are not creating an additional, climbable hazard in doing so.

Gates are often a great garage sale or used website item, so it is worth doing some sleuthing. Make sure locks and slides are functioning if you find used ones, and that the size is appropriate for the space you need to use them in.